Colonial Literature – Puritan Beginnings – Winthrop, Bradstreet, & Sewall
14 The Author to Her Book
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise then true
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudg,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg)
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print,) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find
In this array, mong’st Vulgars mayst thou roam
In Critick’s hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor.
Which caused her thus to turn thee out of door.
“The Author to Her Book” was written by Anne Bradstreet circa 1678. It is in the pubic domain and was taken from the text edited by Helen Campbell entitled. Anne Bradstreet and Her Time.